Frequently Asked Questions

Students are offered CPE Courses through distance education.  There are three main elements: small group interaction with one’s peers and supervisor-educator, online learning modules and an internship.

CPE provides a reflective and relational learning environment that fosters growth, personal and pastoral development. Such an environment involves mutual trust, respect, openness, challenge, and confrontation in a respectful and caring manner. Students are expected to be self-directed and explore one’s theological framework as it applies and is integrated into one’s abilities to practice compassionate pastoral care.

Students are expected to develop a learning contract appropriate to their learning needs and congruent with CPEI’s Objectives and Learning Outcomes.  The learning goals are to be uno their specific learning issues and measurable. In some cases, these may be modified at mid-course as one gains new insight.

The certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education comprises four courses (CPE 100-400). Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is about change, transition, and transformation and involves group and individual supervision as part of an action-reflection-action learning process. Each course requires completing 400 hours (100 hours) of structured and unstructured learning and (300 hours) of an internship. Students will receive a certificate after the four courses.

The CPE specialization courses are optional and address one’s interest and developing additional skills and awareness in specific ministry areas. The internship for these courses is to be established in an area that engages the focus of the specialization. For example, one that seeks to complete the mental health specialization should identify a behavioral or mental health setting for the internship hours.

CPEI offers four specialization Courses:

  • Mental Health and Pastoral Care
  • Addictions and Pastoral Care
  • Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Trauma and Pastoral Care

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs require an internship of 300 hours per course, which is 75% distance education. The purpose of the training is to foster and improve one’s pastoral care and counseling skills as well as to enhance personal and pastoral awareness and identity. With the completion of an internship, students are better prepared to understand the complex needs of human beings and demonstrate improved skills and competency in responding to persons in need. 

Internships can occur in many sites, including one’s current ministry setting, healthcare, corrections, nursing homes, and fire and rescue departments. However, students ought to consider whether they are interested in pursuing a career in chaplaincy and their area of interest and seek internship sites that will assist in this endeavor.

Although theological and other academic education is preferable, individuals aged 18 or older with a high school diploma or a Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) may apply. It is important to note that professional certifications require an undergraduate or graduate degree. Prospective students whose native language is not English must submit the results of a TOEFL score to CPEI with a minimum of 57.

Completion of the CPEI Application.

Once an application has been received, the applicant will be contacted by CPEI or one of the CPEI Affiliates to schedule an interview.  Students approved for the Certificate Programs in CPE or Supervisory CPE will receive a letter of acceptance outlining the course requirements, tuition, learning outcomes, and the enrollment requirement. Students will also be required to submit photo identification. Acceptable sources include a school photo, driver’s license, or a government-issued photo.

Once students are accepted, they are required to enroll in each course. For example, if the student has completed CPE 100 or SEC 600, they will enroll in CPE 200 or SEC 700.

Yes, students will receive a final evaluation which addresses the learning outcomes and assigned a grade based on the following scale. 

Letter Grade

Points

Category

Evaluation

A+

100-96

Exemplary

Exceeded Learning Outcomes

A

95-91

Exemplary

Nearly Exceeded Learning Outcomes

B+

90-86

Competent

Met Learning Outcomes

B

85-81

Competent

Nearly Met Learning Outcomes

B-

80-76

Developing

Making Progress Toward Learning Outcomes

C+

75-71

Developing

Making Some Progress Toward Learning Outcomes

C

70

Beginning

Beginning to Address Learning Outcomes

Students are awarded a formal certificate for completing the certificate program in which they are enrolled.

Most courses are scheduled for 10-15 weeks (Intensive) or 16-26 weeks (Extended). A typical week requires students to meet with their supervisor-educator and peer group approximately 3-4 hours per week and complete the required learning modules. In addition, students are required to complete 300 internship hours.

CPEI offers online and hybrid modalities. 

Hybrid describes the CPEI Affiliates which offers both residential and distance learning opportunities. These are primarily the Affiliates associated with a hospital or hospice location. Online describes the CPEI Affiliates that offer CPE online through Zoom or a related system, and students complete their internship in an agreed upon location.

Supervisory Education

The certificate in CPE Supervisory Education assists students interested in becoming CPE Supervisors-Educators. The process involves gaining the knowledge and skills needed to make a lasting difference in the lives of others through the advancement of one’s supervisory practice. In the supervisory education program, students learn to develop critical thinking, supervisory, and leadership skills. Each course consists of 400 hours of observation and practice of supervision and the development of one’s supervisory theory.

  • Students desiring to apply to enter the Certificate in Supervisory Education will be required to have a minimum of 36 hours of graduate education from an accredited institution, preferably in theology or a related discipline, and the completion of 1600 hours of clinical pastoral education (CPE), and certification as a Chaplain by a recognized certifying organization or completion of Board Certification within the first year of supervisory education.
  • CPE Associate Supervisor-Educator requires a minimum of 36 hours of graduate education.  The CPE Associate Supervisor-Educator is not eligible to apply for the role of a Training Supervisor-Educator.
  • CPE Supervisor-Educator requires a minimum of 72 hours of graduate education.  The CPE Supervisor-Educator will also be able to apply for a Training Supervisor-Educator role after meeting the requirements set forth.
  • Students whose native language is not English and who have not earned a degree from an appropriately accredited institution where English is the principal language of instruction must demonstrate a high-school proficiency in English by completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Completion of the CPEI Application.

Once an application has been received, the applicant will be contacted by a CPEI Training Supervisor-Educator to schedule an interview.  Students approved for the Certificate Program in Supervisory CPE will receive a letter of acceptance outlining the course requirements, tuition, learning outcomes, and the enrollment requirement. Students will also be required to submit photo identification. Acceptable sources include a school photo, driver’s license, or a government-issued photo.

Once students are accepted, they are required to enroll in each course. For example, if the student has completed CPE 100 or SEC 600, they will enroll in CPE 200 or SEC 700.

Yes, students will receive a final evaluation which addresses the learning outcomes and assigned a grade based on the following scale. 

Letter Grade

Points

Category

Evaluation

A+

100-96

Exemplary

Exceeded Learning Outcomes

A

95-91

Exemplary

Nearly Exceeded Learning Outcomes

B+

90-86

Competent

Met Learning Outcomes

B

85-81

Competent

Nearly Met Learning Outcomes

B-

80-76

Developing

Making Progress Toward Learning Outcomes

C+

75-71

Developing

Making Some Progress Toward Learning Outcomes

C

70

Beginning

Beginning to Address Learning Outcomes

Students are awarded a formal certificate for completing the certificate program in which they are enrolled.

Students begin as a supervisory candidate I and are to complete the following leaning modules as well as the practicing the art of supervision:

  • SEC 600: The initial supervisory education course provides the supervisory student the opportunity to observe and practice the art of supervision while developing an awareness of the supervisory process and basic supervisory skills, to research a variety of human development theorists and group dynamics, to write an integrative autobiography, a final evaluation, and initiate a self-care plan. 
  • SEC 700: The second supervisory education course provides the student the opportunity to practice the art of supervision while supervising and evaluating students, increasing one’s knowledge and skills in supervision, multiculturalism, adult learning theories, to develop a theory of human development in pastoral supervision, and to increasingly demonstrate the ability to manage a CPE Course and practice healthy self-care.
  • SEC 800: The is an initial supervisory education course provides the supervisory student the opportunity to practice the art of supervision while supervising and evaluating students, increasing one’s knowledge and skills in supervision, multiculturalism, adult learning theories, to develop a theory of adult learning, multiculturalism, and group dynamics in pastoral supervision, and to increasingly demonstrate the ability to manage a CPE Course and practice healthy self-care.
  • SEC 900: The is an initial supervisory education course provides the supervisory student the opportunity to practice the art of supervision while supervising and evaluating students using one’s increased knowledge and skills in supervision, multiculturalism, adult learning theories, to develop a theology of pastoral supervision, to complete one’s Model of Pastoral Supervision, and to increasingly demonstrate the ability to manage a CPE Course and practice healthy self-care.

Supervisory Candidates II are required to complete the following once their Model of Pastoral Supervision has been approved.

  • Completes Moodle Modules SEC 1000-1004 and course requirements in 6 months following approval of the Pastoral Model of Supervision. Exceptions to this timeline must be submitted in writing to the Certification Committee for approval.
  • Remain in consultation and supervision with one’s Training Supervisor during this time period.
  • Completes the Supervisory Candidate II Application. Once the application has been received and approved, the Supervisory Candidate II will receive a link to upload the necessary documents and resources.
  • Once all items have been uploaded, the Co-Chair for Certification will arrange for a face-to-face interview via Zoom.
  • Demonstrates the ability to organize, manage, and supervise a solo course of CPE.This requires identifying, interviewing, and accepting students, creating a syllabus, conducting individual and group supervision and evaluations.  This should be completed within 6 months. An extension must be submitted to the Certification Committee if the time exceeds this time.
  • Submits a 10–15-minute maximum segment of one’s individual and group supervision of the current course.
  • Submits a written narrative for each individual and group video tape. The narratives should not exceed 5 pages double-spaced for each video and include the following:
    – One’s understanding and respect for the cultural dynamics, learning styles, religious history/theology, and psychosocial patterns of development for the students enrolled in the solo course.
    – Perception of one’s strengths and limitations as a supervisor leading the solo course as well as explicit description of one’s pastoral supervision theory and theology in action.
    – A copy of the solo course’s syllabus
    – A copy of the student and supervisors’ final evaluations of the solo course
    – Review by the Certification Committee